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Credit Cards for Teens

The debate has long been ranging in the UK about whether or not prepaid cards for teens are a good idea. Estimates attribute as much as 31% of all online spending to teenagers typically using a friend or relative’s credit card. Up until recently it has been difficult for teenagers to manage their finances or make purchases online because they did not have access to credit cards. The majority of companies deny them access because they are simply too young and have no established credit record. However, some companies have reduced the restrictions on their prepaid debit cards in order to allow them to be issued to teenagers.

Prepaid cards are a safe way to help teach children about managing money and help them learn how to use a credit card. It is ideal for controlling the spending amount of teens and card statements give a full breakdown of children’s spending habits. There is no chance of running into debt since spending is limited by the amount of money put on the card. Prepaid cards don’t require any credit checks, so they are much easier to get than a regular credit card. For young people, carrying a prepaid card can add an additional level of safety so that they don’t have to carry around large amounts of cash with them. It will also allow them to shop online or over the phone. If the card is used fraudulently in this way, the money can be recovered.

As with any credit card, shopping around until you find the right one for you is important. Here are some things to consider:

The following is a list of credit cards available to people with a poor credit rating:

What kind of protection against theft or fraud does the credit card company offer?
Does the company offer online support services for the card, such as tracking transactions and viewing statements?
What are the top up options for the card? Can you transfer money to your account online or recharge your card at any bank?

The following cards are available to teens under 18:
Splash Plastic:
Splash Plastic is a MasterCard issued by 360money. It has a £5 application fee and an annual fee of £4.95. There are no monthly fees involved, but a 2.5% fee is charged on all transactions. UK ATM withdrawal fees are £1.50 per withdrawal, with 2% charged for withdrawals over £50. International ATM withdrawals are charged at 1% extra per withdrawal. Reload charges are £0.30 per £10 at Post Office Paypoints and 2.5% from credit/debit cards. The maximum limit on the card is £3500.
3V Voucher:
3V Voucher is a Visa card issued by 3V Transaction Services. It has no annual fee and works on a voucher basis, with vouchers ranging from minimum £20 to maximum £200. Vouchers range in cost; £20 vouchers are free of charge, vouchers ranging from £30 to £100 cost £2 and vouchers ranging from £110 to £200 cost £3.50. The 3V Voucher card is mainly used for online transactions and mail order payments where Visa cards are accepted.

Credit card fraud runs into billions each year with merchants and banks losing money and consumers are put to huge inconvenience as they have to replace cards. All round it is a lose-lose situation for honest businesses and legal credit card holders, hence why vigilance is crucial.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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